Date
17 August 2017
Washington and Seoul insist that the annual military exercises are defensive in nature. Photo: Internet
Washington and Seoul insist that the annual military exercises are defensive in nature. Photo: Internet

US-South Korea joint military drills to start on March 2

South Korea and the United States will hold their annual joint military drills starting on March 2, Yonhap reported, citing a statement from the Combined Forces Command (CFC).

The announcement came amid repeated threats from North Korea against holding the exercises.

The drills will include a computerized command post exercise called Key Resolve, which will be held from March 2-13 to improve the combined forces’ operation and combat capabilities to deter threats from the North, the CFC said.

The two-week war game will involve about 10,000 South Korean and 8,600 American troops to test various scenarios in which South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff play a leading role in conducting operations.

The allies will also hold a field training exercise called Foal Eagle from March 2 to April 24. This will involve a set of land, sea and air maneuvers, the news agency said.

The two-month tactical training will mobilize about 200,000 Korean and 3,700 American troops, mostly from overseas.

The CFC said the North Korean military has been informed about the exercises. Observers from five nations will ensure the drills will not break the armistice agreement signed at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, according to Yonhap.

The large-scale drills are expected to further heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula, with Pyongyang threatening harsh retaliation against the “hostile” forces, the report said.

North Korea charges that the exercises are rehearsals” for an invasion, but Washington and Seoul insist that they are defensive in nature.

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CG

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